Whether you consider it marmite, or a necessary evil, Social Media is an incredibly useful tool for a foreigner in a new country. Finding networks and business contacts, a recommended plumber, lawyer, school, or area to live, potential new Clients, or Business collaborators just got easier.
Planting the seeds
Before you landed in Spain, you will have spent hours in the company of Auntie Google, trying to find information on your new “home”, where to send your children to school, how to continue your activities and hobbies and where to get the things you really can’t live without (but in reality are all available for delivery thanks to the www).
Watering the Ground
I recommend that you start connecting even before you arrive in Spain. Many of the Spanish towns and villages, as well as local Ayuntamientos (Town Halls) now sport a Facebook page where events, contacts and questions can be posted and the “locals” can help with your questions. Your previous address book of contacts may have gone, but newly found friends on the ground can recommend a lawyer, an accountant with advice on the legal requirements to set up a business, or help you position your business for your new market.
Applying the sunshine
In reality, when you arrive in Spain (you may well have moved over for a better quality of life and the sunshine), a good helping of sunshine is needed to warm the ground you watered before you arrived. The virtual friends you met via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and websites like Internations.org, costawomen.com, mumabroad.com and Expatica can be met over a cafe con leche, or copa de vino.
Enjoying the blooms
Remember that networking for social, or business reasons needs a good deal of time and effort to enable blooms to grow. You may find seeds you planted many months ago take time to grow into friends, or customers for your business. However, patience and consistency in connecting with your new friends and network following your arrival in Spain will ensure you have a good grounding of connections for many years to come.
“Successful networking comes from a place of abundance rather than scarcity, a place of stretching your hand first rather than looking for hands to stretch to you.” Anon